“I find that when we really love and accept and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works.” —Louise Hay
Louise Hay, the inspirational founder of the hugely successful publishing company, Hay House, believed that the most important relationship to cultivate was the relationship we have with ourselves.
Her landmark book from 1984, You Can Heal Your Life, which has sold more than 50 million copies globally, introduced the world to “mirror work”, Hay’s method of learning to love yourself using a mirror and positive affirmations.
To find out more about this method, check out Louise Hay’s 2016 book, Mirror Work: 21 Days to Heal Your Life. Until then, try these nine techniques to help develop a more loving relationship with yourself:
1. Start your day with positive thoughts and an attitude of gratitude. Instead of reaching over for your cell phone to check the weather or to see if your Clash of Clans village was raided overnight, spend the time on yourself. Mentally list a few things that make you grateful to be alive. Tell yourself something positive.
2. Write in a journal. Your thoughts and life are worth recording. Take time each morning or evening to write for a few minutes. You’ll gain a lot of insight and appreciation for your life. Show yourself that your life matters.
3. Let go of your avoidance behaviors. What do you do when you’re feeling emotionally under the weather? Do you shop, eat, go online? Instead of avoiding yourself, sit with yourself.
– Just breathe and notice your feelings and body sensations. Avoiding them just prolongs the cycle.
– In time, your negative emotions will dissipate without your attempts to hide from them.
4. Think of meditation as spending quality time with yourself. Begin with just a few minutes and extend the time as you feel more comfortable.
5. Spend time on personal development. What do you want to learn — time management, relaxation techniques, leadership skills, how to network, spiritual development?
6. Have some fun. Plan some fun in your life. Get a monthly massage or meet a friend for ballroom dance lessons. It’s your life. Enjoy it.
7. Forgive yourself. You’ve made a few mistakes and missed out on a few sure-fire opportunities. That’s no reason to beat yourself up for the rest of your life. It’s time to let go of your past and forge ahead.
8. Groom yourself to a high standard. Take the time to shower each day and pay a regular visit to the barber or salon. Keep your grooming at a higher standard than others in your environment. Take good care of yourself and show the world how much you mean to yourself.
9. Get help if you need it. No one can handle everything all of the time. Sooner or later, we all need help. That help may come in the form of a trusted friend or a professional. Remember, you’re worth it.
As Louise Hay said: “Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are the main keys to positive changes in every area of our lives.”
Now, I would love to hear from you. Comment below what you are actively doing to love yourself today!